Tipping Your Dresser?

BobbyBubby Profile PhotoBobbyBubby Profile Photo
BobbyBubby
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/23/04
Tipping Your Dresser?#1
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:19pm
In the Joan Jett thread someone posted an interview with Daphne Rubin-Vega where she had to inform Joan Jett she should tip her dresser? Is this common practice on Broadway? I've never heard of this.
theaterkid1015 Profile Phototheaterkid1015 Profile Photo
theaterkid1015
Broadway Legend
joined:6/15/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/15/06
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#2
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:23pm
We were told by teachers always to tip our dressers in theaters. It's good etiquette.

But, then again, I've never actually HAD a dresser, so I really know nothing.
Some people paint, some people sew, I meddle.
ThankstoPhantom
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/13/05
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#2
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:32pm
Yes, it is known for dressers to be tipped. The amount is something I do not know of, so I I'll leave that to more informed parties.
How to properly use its/it's: Its is the possessive. It's is the contraction for it is...
TheatreDiva90016 Profile PhotoTheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/10/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#3
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:40pm
As a dresser...

Yes, tipping is a regular thing.


If you want to keep the person who makesyou look good happy, tip them for a job well done.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
CurtainPullDowner Profile PhotoCurtainPullDowner Profile Photo
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/4/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#4
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:46pm

The Brits don't tip too much, I hear and the younger actors on Broadway don't know the custom either, It's a different situation for each performer these days, but it used to be more common.
And remember what happened to Bea Arthur when she was flippant to her dresser in MAME.
And Raquel Welch hit someone and Lauren Bacall had a broken mirror incident with a Hair person.
They say "Don't Mess with the Dressers"!
Updated On: 12/29/08 at 09:46 PM
theaterdude87 Profile Phototheaterdude87 Profile Photo
theaterdude87
Broadway Legend
joined:6/4/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/4/06
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#5
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:48pm
For some reason I am finding this topic very interesting. I mean it is not unheard of I guess. I always tip hair dresser etc. It is very interesting as to how much.


for fierce, fabulous and fun times visit eric mathew's world. http://ericmathew.blogspot.com/
CATSNYrevival Profile PhotoCATSNYrevival Profile Photo
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#6
Posted: 12/29/08 at 9:59pm
I've never heard of this. And I'm kind of confused. Dressers get to see some really beautiful people in various states of undress. The dressers should be putting money down the actors undies...
morosco Profile Photomorosco Profile Photo
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/10/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#7
Posted: 12/29/08 at 10:00pm
The stage doorman (or stage doorwoman) is usually tipped as well.
nexttoelectric Profile Photonexttoelectric Profile Photo
nexttoelectric
Broadway Legend
joined:7/7/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/7/08
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#8
Posted: 12/29/08 at 10:04pm
It all comes down to weather seeing you undressed is a privilege or a chore. You tip if its the latter, tehy tip if its the former
bertandrew2 Profile Photobertandrew2 Profile Photo
bertandrew2
Broadway Star
joined:10/27/06
Broadway Star
joined:
10/27/06
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#9
Posted: 12/29/08 at 10:06pm
And spot light operators are tipped too
TheatreDiva90016 Profile PhotoTheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/10/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#10
Posted: 12/29/08 at 10:30pm
"Dressers get to see some really beautiful people in various states of undress. The dressers should be putting money down the actors undies... "

As someone who used to host strip shows, and as a dresser...

You've seen one kanked person, you've sen them all. If there's something on you I haven't seen before, I'll shoot it.



Bert,
I don't know where you work, but I've never heard of a spot op getting tipped.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
i*heart*fame
Broadway Star
joined:9/15/04
Broadway Star
joined:
9/15/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#11
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:07am
How often are they tipped? On a weekly, monthly, yearly, show-by-show basis? Is there any custom. Does everyone, or just the big stars?
"Don't thank your parents, if you were raised in a nurturing environment you wouldnt be in show business"--Conan O'Brien at the 2006 Emmy Awards
Manny2
Stand-by
joined:7/12/08
Stand-by
joined:
7/12/08
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#12
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:12am
Blimey, the entire crew has to be tipped!

Interesting, what's considered the norm?
husk_charmer
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/19/06
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#13
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:13am
What happened to Bea?
http://www.youtube.com/huskcharmer
CurtainPullDowner Profile PhotoCurtainPullDowner Profile Photo
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/4/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#14
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:17am
She slapped her dresser
And her Dresser slaped her right back
Watch the Movie.
CATSNYrevival Profile PhotoCATSNYrevival Profile Photo
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#15
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:28am
I still don't really get it. Are some dressers also fluffers? That I could see tipping for. Or if my dresser goes out and gets my coffee and runs errands for me. That's going above and beyond. That I'd tip for. Otherwise they're getting paid so I don't really understand what the tip is for or why anyone would assume actors are getting paid enough to be able to afford to tip everyone on the crew.
Mythus
Broadway Legend
joined:8/16/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/16/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#16
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:49am
I would certainly appreciate a tip for having to see you naked and sweaty (and smelly) and then handling your sweaty, smelly clothes every night.
dapperchapper
Understudy
joined:12/14/08
Understudy
joined:
12/14/08
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#17
Posted: 12/30/08 at 12:52am
CATSNYrevival.... If you feel that you shouldn't tip your dresser because they are already being paid, then do you feel you shouldn't tip your waiter at a restaurant because they are already being paid? It is essentially the same thing. It is just the polite, traditional thing to do. And if you think actors aren't paid enough, imagine what dressers are being paid!
Updated On: 12/30/08 at 12:52 AM
TheatreDiva90016 Profile PhotoTheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/10/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#18
Posted: 12/30/08 at 1:46am
A dresser does so much more than just dress the actor. We make sure that everything is set and in place so that the actor doesn't have to worry about anything. We press/steam/maintain all of their costumes and accessories, make tea or coffee, get water. On tour, every theatre had a different set up, so I always went in early and checked to see where everything was at and where the paths to the entrances and exits were. In each new city, I set the dressing rooms up with all of their things and made sure it was comfortable and cozy. We handle communications, guest lists, fan mail, sometimes answer phone calls.

I was always right off stage while the actor was on in case there was any problem (and there were!).

It's a bit like being a butler.

My actors usually tipped me once a week, or whenever they were paid.

My favorite tip was a box of steaks that were sent to my hotel room! I was in beef heaven for weeks!
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
CATSNYrevival Profile PhotoCATSNYrevival Profile Photo
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#19
Posted: 12/30/08 at 2:07am
Well, see that makes more sense. You're doing so much more than just helping someone in and out of costumes. As described, that's practically a personal assistant. That makes sense to tip.
amoni Profile Photoamoni Profile Photo
amoni
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/04
Broadway Star
joined:
5/17/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#20
Posted: 12/30/08 at 6:24am
Damn, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. Does everyone have their hand out? The dresser works for the production, and receives a paycheck for duties rendered.
Tom1071 Profile PhotoTom1071 Profile Photo
Tom1071
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/1/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#21
Posted: 12/30/08 at 10:08am
"Damn, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. Does everyone have their hand out? The dresser works for the production, and receives a paycheck for duties rendered."

It's a practice that's been going on long before you were ever even thought of.

Dressers are invaluable to performers. Particularly in costume/quick change heavy musical theatre. I remember Sutton Foster thanking her dresser in her Tony Award acceptance speech.


Updated On: 12/30/08 at 10:08 AM
theminutepast
Broadway Star
joined:2/1/06
Broadway Star
joined:
2/1/06
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#22
Posted: 12/30/08 at 10:19am
Who pays for a dresser like Sutton Foster's? (His name is Julian, btw). Is that a production cost or does the actress pay?
dramamama611 Profile Photodramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/4/07
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#23
Posted: 12/30/08 at 10:29am
Does anyone know how it is decided WHO needs a dresser? I'm sure not all actors get them. Is there a union ruling on this?

And like all services...I would guess that the amount of tip depends on the amount of work and quality of such work.


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
TheatreDiva90016 Profile PhotoTheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/10/04
re: Tipping Your Dresser?#24
Posted: 12/30/08 at 11:31am



Wow, amoni, I hope you aren't an actor. I've known dressers who, if you didn't tip them, wouldn't do a thing for you besides hand you your clothes.

The production pays for the dresser, but usually 'stars' get their choice of whom they want. It’s in their contract. The star dressers usually travel with the show and it depends upon their tracks as to who get a personal dresser. For Hairspray, I was in charge of Edna; the other star dresser was in charge of Tracy and Motor Mouth. And during quick changes, we would both help each other, like when Tracy goes from auditioning to being a dancer on the show. You may not notice it, but she has a super-fast costume AND wig change before she’s ‘introduced’ for the first time. Her dresser took care of the front, I was on my knees in the back and the wig person was changing her to her ‘Skunk wig’. Also, during the 42 second change that Edna has in “Welcome to the 60’s”, we had the two star dressers, the supervisor, and the wig person back there to complete Edna’s and Tracy’s complete make-over changes.

The rest of the cast would be assigned 'locals' at each theatre. Some of the locals took care of some of the other leads and the rest would help the ensemble.

And here's where I've heard the horror stories...

I didn't really deal with local dressers when I was on tour, as I was in my own little world, but, from what I've heard, the local dressers turned out to be, less than qualified, or WAY too old to be doing it any more. But because of the Unions, they still have their jobs. These are the types of dressers who would sit in a chair and say, "Come here, and I'll zip you up" instead of being there to just do it. I found out how bad it was when I joined my local when I returned home after the tour.

I was always lucky enough to be assigned to one of the principals, but I've seen other locals who obviously hate their jobs, but they still keep on doing it. Or they are physically incapable of doing the job (It can be very physical, depending on the production). Hell, I've seen locals who think the job is so stressful that their doctors actually 'prescribed' a lap dog as a stress reliever. Yes, they brought dogs with them to work backstage, claiming it's a 'medical dog'.

This was my breaking point.

If the job is SO STRESSFUL to you that you have to bring a lap dog with you to work, then maybe you should find another job.

But I digress...

The bottom line is, you tip anyone who gives your good service, your waiter, the valet, your dry cleaner.

T = To
I = Insure
P = Proper
S = Service

Being a dresser is like being in the service industry. I know dressers who don’t get tipped, but that’s because they do the bare minimum, which is just to stand there and dress the person.

Whew!
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2